Sections

Council leaders remove Yeger from immigration committee after Palestine comments

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

He got the axe!

Council bigwigs booted a Midwood representative from their immigration committee after he refused to apologize for his social media comments in which he denied the existence of Palestine Monday.

The Council’s leadership reached a broad consensus to kick City Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-Midwood) off the committee headed by fellow City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook), according to a political source.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson denounced Yeger’s comments, calling them counter to the committee’s mission of welcoming immigrants to the five boroughs.

“I found Council Member Yeger’s comments completely unacceptab­le,” Johnson said in a statement. “What he said is totally inappropriate, and sends the wrong message about our values. He is being removed from the Immigration Committee.”

Yeger received widespread political condemnation from fellow pols for the tweet he published in response to Bklyner.com journalist Zainab Iqbal, telling her that Palestine didn’t exist and labeling U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite on March 27.

“Palestine does not exist. There, I said it again. Also, Congresswoman [Ilhan] Omar is an anti-Semite. Said that too. Thanks for following me,” read the March 27 tweet.

Yeger took to Twitter April 1 to respond to the Council’s decision, decrying it as a limiting of his free speech.

“I respect the Speaker’s right to run the Council as he sees fit. It’s unfortunate that political correctness takes precedence over objective fact,” Yeger tweeted, while linking to a Daily News editorial that denounced the Council’s decision.

The councilman also hedged his controversial tweet by saying that while there was no Palestinian state, the Palestinian people do exist.

“Of course, there are Palestinians. However, the fact remains there is no Palestinian state,” Yeger said.

This contradicts previous statements he made when he called inhabitants of the Middle Eastern country “so-called Palestinians”.

The pol has been one of a handful of dissenting voices on the mostly progressive committee, voting no in a 2018 resolution by then Flatbush Councilman Jumaane Williams to halt the deportation of Brooklynite Ravi Ragbir by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

He also abstained from a resolution to urge Albany to allow undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses that year and voted against the committee’s resolution to call on U.S. Congress to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Tensions flared up when some 20 people gathered to protest against the councilman’s statements outside his Borough Park district office on March 28 and were met with 200 counter-protesters, some of whom were sporting ‘Make America Great Again’ paraphernalia and made Islamophobic remarks towards Muslim attendees.

One protester asked a young Palestinian girl if she had a bomb under her shirt, a comment which one of the counter-protest’s organizers and former Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind condemned.

A spokesman for Yeger’s office did not return requests for comment by press time.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 11:11 am, April 4, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Given his inability to advocate for his constituents with his reduced power, he should resign and let someone who can serve replace him.
April 3, 10:49 am
Boris from Borough Park says:
If there is one that is forbidden in modern day America, it is to speak the truth about something that will upset the Muslims.
April 3, 12:22 pm
Ahmed from Bay Ridge says:
Here is what a Muslim leader in Nablus had to say on this subject in 1937: There is no such country as Palestine! ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. – Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi
April 3, 1:21 pm
Florence from Sunset Park says:
How is it that Mr Yeger is punished for telling the truth, yet Ilhan Omar is still on the Foreign relations committee ? (ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS') I am so sick of the liberals' political pandering.
April 3, 2:35 pm
Michael says:
Thanks thought police! He’s not allowed to have an opinion? The government doesn’t work best when you only allow one voice. But obviously the coucil’s bullies will force him to bend by punishment. Just like Tammany Hall.
April 3, 2:42 pm
Disgraceful says:
City Council has come to an all time low. In the early 90s it was a sociology experiment. Now it is the full throttle thought police. Very sad. Yeger is factually correct. Too bad if anyone is offended by a fact.
April 3, 11:17 pm
Jim says:
Who cares? What does the immigration committee do anyway? Give out more welfare and shield people from ICE? This removal is a badge of honor.
April 3, 11:20 pm
Harold says:
Remember if I say 1+1 is 3 than that is the truth. Say it or lose your status.
April 3, 11:21 pm
Boris from Borough Park says:
Some idiot (Michael) doesn't know the difference between thought and posting said thought on social media. Some idiot (Michael) doesn't know the difference between thought and posting said thought on social media. Some people don't get it.
April 4, 10:15 am
Thought says:
Why can't he post a fact on social media? Facts are facts.
April 4, 12:14 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: